Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 153

According to Kommersant-daily, Prime Minister Sergei Kirienko made Duma speaker Gennady Seleznev an attractive offer last week, when he persuaded Seleznev to interrupt the Duma’s summer vacation and return to Moscow on August 19-20 to debate the government’s stabilization measures. (Kommersant-daily, August 6; see also the Monitor, August 6) Kommersant-daily claims that Kirienko promised that, if the Duma agreed to reconvene, the government would waive the provision of the electoral law specifying that only political parties and movements which have re-registered their statutes with the Justice Ministry within a year of the polling date may take part in the election. If the provision remained in force and a snap election were called, several parties and movements could find themselves disqualified. Kirienko has reportedly offered to remove this threat. (Kommersant-daily, August 6) As far as is known, Kirienko did not offer to rescind Yeltsin’s threat to change the electoral system to eliminate the proportional representation system now used to elect half of the Duma’s 450 deputies and to change all constituencies to single-member ones. This proposal is bitterly opposed by the Communists and the Liberal Democrats, but in any case, time is running out for Yeltsin to carry out his threat.